How To Look And Feel Your Best In Midlife

As we head towards and through the menopause our bodies inevitably change. In our 40s and 50s it can sometimes feel like media and society is writing us off, but we are definitely not old or 'past it'. Most of us are only halfway through our lives so it is worrying that according to research by the Skin Health Alliance 43% of menopausal women believe they have become less attractive and 37% of women struggle with their reflection in the mirror. 

As our bodies go through the major hormonal changes of the perimenopause and menopause in Midlife we need to review how we look after ourselves.  The products, clothes, exercise and diet that have been fine for many years might no longer be giving our body what they need.  This post explores what changes we experience in Midlife and what we can do to support our bodies to help us feel beautiful and confident.

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A midlife woman staring in to the distance at sunset on a sunny day
Help yourself to feel beautiful and confident

Guide To Feeling Beautiful In Your Forties And Fifties

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How to Have Beautiful Hair in Midlife

What Happens To Our Hair?

Our hair can have a big impact on how we feel about ourselves because our style can form part of our identity. While greying hair has long been portrayed as synonymous with old people it’s not uncommon for those white hairs to start appearing in our 30s. If you want to cover up the grey it is easy enough with hair colouring, but the other changes are harder to hide. You might suddenly realise you can see far more of your scalp than you used to and your hair breaks more easily.

From the perimenopause onwards our hair fibres become thinner and more delicate. The natural cycle of growth and shedding changes too so in our 40s onwards hair spends less time growing and more time shedding. This means that as well as losing colour our hair gets thinner and we get less of it. 

Why Does Our Hair Change In Our 40s and 50s? 

Yes we are getting older and aging does have an impact, but the main cause of hair changes for women is the drop in oestrogen levels. It’s fascinating all the ways oestrogen impacts our body, but when it comes to thinning hair it's causes a decline in collagen production and our androgens (the hormones males have in abundance) become more influential causing hair follicles to shrink.

What Can We Do?

Quick fixes

If you suddenly look in the mirror one day in despair, don’t worry there are some quick fixes which can make your hair look better straight away.

Get to the hairdressers: a good haircut, some styling tips and careful colouring can all make a difference to how your hair looks. Try talking to the hairdresser about your concerns and ask for suggestions.

Hide the gaps: Nanogen have a range of products designed to help with thinning hair longer term including shampoos, conditioners and a serum you massage into your scalp to stimulate the production of hair cells and reduce hair shedding. For immediate impact though try their Keratin Hair Fibres. Choose the shade closest to your hair and sprinkle some of the fibres on to the patches that make you feel most self conscious eg your parting. The electrostatic charge makes the fibres attach to your hair so it looks thicker instantly. You can also use with the Fibre Locking Spray to help them stay in place longer. I found it really impressive the difference these products made.

The Nanogen product range for women including shampoo, hair fibres and serum
Nanogen products are designed to improve the appearance of thinning hair

Sleep in luxury: If you wake up in the morning with crazy messed up hair then you might have an idea of what your hair goes through over night. The repeated rubbing against the pillow can cause damage to delicate hair, but a silk pillow reduces friction, preventing breakage and frizz. For best results look for a pure silk pillow of 22 Momme or higher, you'll be grateful for a machine washable one too.

Longer Term Fixes

Wash with care: switch to shampoos and conditioners designed for thinning hair. Products for fine hair might give you more volume, but you need to use shampoo and conditioner that will nourish and protect those important hair follicles in your scalp while preventing hair drying out so it’s less brittle and likely to break. 

Diet: if your diet is lacking in nutrition your hair will suffer so it’s really worth looking at what you eat. Key for hair growth is protein (eat at least 55 to 60 grams a day), Vitamin D and Iron as these give your hair follicles the building blocks to grow new hair and keep hair in the growing phase for longer. 

Collagen supplements: Collagen levels and production has a huge impact on hair (and skin and joints). Collagen levels starts to decline in our late 20s, but it really speeds up in our 40s. There are lots of different options available if you decide you want to supplement, but ensure you consume enough Vitamin C and Zinc too as they are needed for effective collagen production. Check out this post for more information about how collagen supplements work and if they might help you. 

My current favourite collagen is a vegan strawberry and peach powder by Feel. I like it mixed with sparkling water (careful as it fizzes up). It contains Vitamin C and Calcium which makes it more effective with my not very balanced diet. You can get a discount using my referral link here.  I have previously used So Body Co collagen, but I only really liked it mixed with yoghurt so I found it harder to fit into my lifestyle and take every day. While So Body Co contains more types of collagen and has the potential to be more effective, it doesn’t contain Vitamin C. I found that as I didn’t use it as regularly it became less effective for me. A few months after having the Feel Collagen daily I have definite regrowth of hair at the front where it was receding.

Hair growth supplements: I am currently trying the Feel Hair Loss Support supplement which is a capsule containing Keranat™️ and Biotin. It’s vegan and has shown good results in small clinical trials, but I have only been using it a few weeks so it's too soon to see if it works for me. There are lots of different hair growth supplements on the market which all have different ingredients so it’s hard to know what to try and how effective they are.

Whatever changes you make to support new hair growth remember they wont have an immediately visible impact. Skin and hair goes through a cycle meaning you might start to see improvements after a month, with more noticeable improvements after 3 months. Make sure you plan to use products for at least 3 months before deciding if they work for you. Hair grows about 1 cm a month so I am wary of ads where people are claiming they have a fuller, bouncier head of hair after only a few weeks. 

Shampoos, conditioners and serums can make an immediate difference to how your hair looks and feels, but they need supporting with the right things internally as that is where hair growth can be most impacted. 

Supporting Your Skin and Face in Midlife

What Changes Can You Expect?

In Midlife our skin starts to become less plump leading to wrinkles, it dehydrates more easily and it becomes less elastic and thinner. People in their 40s and 50s also report increased skin sensitivity, redness and acne. These changes happen all over our body, but it’s often our face, neck and hands where it is most noticeable. When in your 20s and 30s you might be able to get away with a minimal skincare routine, but in your 40s and 50s neglected skin is likely to feel dry and horrible. And then there can be the appearance of spots to rival those you had in puberty. It's a tough time for skin.

Why Does Our Skin Change In Midlife? 

It’s that reduction in oestrogen levels which is having the biggest impact on our skin, especially the associated decrease in collagen levels. Years of over exposure to sun can start to show too and if you smoke that wont help either. Just like in puberty those fluctuating hormone levels can cause spots, but you don’t want to use overly drying spot treatments as they can make your skin look worse.

What can you do?

Just like with our hair it’s important to focus on both what we consume and what we put on our skin to keep it looking and feeling as good as possible.  So what are the options?

Skincare Suggestions

Review the skincare you use and make sure it is still working for you. If you have been using the same products for years it might be time to look at what else is out there. While you don’t need to use products designed specifically for menopausal skin, it might be worth looking at adding in eye creams, more effective moisturisers and hand cream if you don’t already use them regularly. Ensure that your day cream has a good SPF level all year round and wear suncream on other exposed parts of your body. A tan might make you feel great, but overexposure to the sun will cause skin damage

Additionally, incorporating skin health supplements like Sun Coast Sciences ReActivate into your skincare routine can be beneficial to fight the signs of aging. It boosts hydration and collagen synthesis and provides many other skin health benefits. 


Inside the bright and cheerful Dr PAWPAW packaging there are brilliant products that are perfect for Midlife women. Particularly worth checking out are:

  • The YOUR gorgeous SKIN brightening eye cream which contains: hyaluronic acids for instant and long-lasting hydration and retinol which reduces the appearance of fine lines. 
  • The SPF 50 day cream will protect skin from harmful sun damage while keeping it moisturised and all without feeling thick or greasy. It is one of the best SPF moisturisers I have tried.
  • Don’t forget your hands, the Age Renewal hand creams come in 3 different fruity fragrances.

Some Dr PAWPAW products in colourful packaging
Dr PAWPAW products that are great for Midlife women


If your skin is feeling particularly sensitive as well as dry then use specialist products like EPIMAX®. Their products include: 

  • An eyelid ointment which can help soothe and moisturise dry, irritated and flaky eyelids, 
  • EPIMAX® ExCetra Cream is a gentle alternative to shower gel or soap, 
  • The Moisturising Cream is great for daily moisturising of dry skin 
  • And the Oatmeal Cream can be used to moisturise sensitive skin with mild eczema, psoriasis or dry skin conditions. 

Some of the EPIMAX skincare product range
EPIMAX products are great for dry sensitive skin


It’s not just the skin on your face that can suffer with dryness, according to Theratears® dry eye affects 61% of perimenopausal and menopausal women. TheraTears® has developed an age-specific eye drop treatment to provide instant relief to soothe dry or tired eyes. It is particularly recommended for restoring and improving tear film stability in mature eyes in the case of dry eye disease.

Theradrops eye drops for 50 plus next to the packaging
These eye drops are designed for mature eyes

Looking After Your Body: The Impact Of Midlife On Your Bones, Joints And Muscles

What Happens To Your Body?

As we enter Midlife bones start to reduce in density, they can become more brittle and and joints can get achy. While you are unlikely to notice the impact of osteoporosis in your 40s what you do now can have a huge impact on your mobility in later life. Studies have shown that women lose muscle mass in menopause too which can make you feel weaker, less fit and leaves your joints and bones less supported.

What Causes These Changes?

Yes, it’s those hormonal changes again, especially Oestrogen, that are causing havoc to our bodies. However the risk of osteoporosis is increased by a diet low in Calcium and Vitamin D over long periods. Extreme dieting, low protein levels and various medical conditions can also play a part. 

How To Support Your Body During Midlife


Get yourself some comfortable clothes and get working out.  Exercise makes a huge difference to mental and physical health, but it’s not just about how you feel in the short term.

Weight bearing exercise and muscle strengthening can help support bone strength. The good news is that even increasing the amount you walk can help. If you are already pretty active it is good to do regular medium to high impact activity like jogging or skipping as well as using appropriate weights or a resistance band 3 times a week. 

If you are already feeling creaky or you have some joint pain then pilates or yoga can make a huge difference. Make your teacher aware of any problem areas so they can adapt exercises appropriately. I really recommend going along to in person classes, at least initially, so your positioning can be corrected and adapted. However if finances are tight then there are plenty of free videos on YouTube. Just remember to listen to your body. As my lovely pilates teacher says: “effort is good, pain is bad” so don’t do moves if they are painful, but do make an effort. 

Products to Help Support Your Body

I love Revitalise Sports Leggings from Lovall because they are high waisted and thick enough that you won’t be showing off the pattern on your pants. They are super soft and comfortable as well as moisture wicking making exercise more comfortable.

Lovall revitalise leggings in dark cherry tie die
Lovall Revitalise Leggings in Dark Cherry Tie Dye have a high waist and full length

According to GOPO® 71% of perimenopausal women experience musculoskeletal pain and supplements can help reduce joint aches. GOPO® Joint Health is a natural anti-inflammatory supplement made from 100% specially cultivated Rosehip. It has been shown in studies to reduce joint pain and swelling. The galactolipid GOPO® is thought to switch on genes that help to produce collagen and cartilage, which are essential components of a healthy joint. Not only can this help support joint health, but it can make exercise less painful.

GOPO® joint health capsules visible next to the container and box
GOPO® is designed to support joint health

Collagen Supplements: yes again. There is research which suggests collagen supplements can support joints because collagen is the key part of cartilage. There are different types of collagen with type II most likely to help joint pain, so if you are taking a supplement for this purpose make sure it has type II in (many don't). 

Nutrition To Feel Your Best

A balanced diet should be enough to help support your body in all it's normal functions, but let’s face it most of us don’t eat all the right foods in all the right amounts. It can be helpful to take supplements to help fill in any of the gaps in your diet. 

Taking a supplement specifically designed for women in your stage of life can help support your nutrition for instance Wassen Prime Protect is designed for women over 50. Inspired by a Mediterranean diet each capsule contains 21 nutrients including vitamins and other nutrients that you won’t find in your standard multi-vitamin pill.  I love that is comes in a recyclable glass jar with metal lid and you only need to take one a day. 

Wassen Prime Protect vitamins in jar next to the box
A combination of vitamins and other nutrients to support women over 50

The importance of gut health is highly undervalued.  A healthy gut will help ensure you have the best chance of absorbing the right things and probiotics can help restore gut health. Bio-Kult Everyday contains live bacteria in a handy capsule form that doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Taking it can support the balance of natural bacteria in your gut and provide improved nutrient absorption. While some of the bacteria is derived from milk, the levels should be low enough to not cause a problem for those with lactose intolerance and I definitely find these more convenient than other forms I have tried in the past. 

bio-kult everyday probiotic capsules next to the packaging
Probiotic capsules for improved gut health

It's important not to forget about hydration either.  We know we should be drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, but this isn’t always easy especially if (like me) you don’t actually like water. I used to drink a lot of fruit squash, but now I stay hydrated mostly through drinking sparkling water. I have a SodaStream which combined with a gas cylinder subscription from CO2 YOU means I drink lots more than I used to. 

Support Your Mind In Midlife

While supporting your body physically will help you look your best, a big part of how we feel about ourselves is in our head. The happier we feel in ourselves the happier we tend to feel about how we look. Nutrition and exercise will help your mental health, which in turn helps you prioritise good nutrition and exercise, but it’s important to prioritise time to relax too. 

This is all complicated of course by many of the symptoms of menopause that directly affect how we feel like: anxiety, depression, brain fog, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness and mood swings. There is no simple quick fix to these. Some are directly caused by the changes our bodies are experiencing and others are related eg night sweats and sleep issues will result in tiredness which makes it harder to concentrate and control our emotions. The suggestions below may help, but if you find you are really struggling speaking to your GP must be a priority.

What works to help recharge your mind and soul will differ to what works for others and it might take a while to work out what works best for you. I have found I need a balance of exercise, peace and inspiration.

Ideas To Help Support Your Mind

Wear something comfortable and take time to do nothing, even if it's just for 5 minutes. Honestly I think loungewear that feels good to wear but you can also pop to the shops in is really under rated. Essentially they are like pyjamas that you don’t get judged for wearing in the middle of the day so it's easy to take a break for you even when time is short.  If I am wearing rough fabrics or I have a waistband digging into me all day I am already using too much of my brain keeping calm so comfortable clothes are key. 

Green relaxed fit loungewear set from Lovall
A casual and comfy loungewear set with a loose, relaxed fit from Lovall

Many people find the powers of crystals beneficial, and with crystal jewellery you can enjoy their beauty as well. This clear quartz necklace is one of a number of beautiful crystal jewellery designs from Xander Kostroma.

A silver necklace with 3 rough cut clear crystal quartz crystals hanging from it
Embrace the powers of crystals with beautiful jewellery

Ok I know we all breathe automatically, but have you ever been somewhere and felt you could breathe more easily? For me I love to stare out to sea, from a viewpoint where I can see for miles, or surrounded by woodland. I find I slow down, take deep breaths and ground myself. Mindfulness can really help you appreciate what you have and for me it is so much easier to take a moment to feel better about myself and my life when I am somewhere I can breathe. 

Me sitting on a rocky outcrop staring out to the distance
Take time to breathe and reconnect with the world

Disclosure: many of the items featured in the post were gifted for inclusion. There are also a few affiliate links, if you click on these and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you if you choose to do this. 

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